Stacie Stapleton straightens her suit and prepares to make her case. It isn’t really a witness booth, but there’s pressure. She’s nervous even though her fight is just.
Everyone wants to find a way to save Avery’s life.
Stapleton, Avery’s neuro-oncologist, is no exception. Her level of involvement with her patients—brain tumor patients, the ones who have to fight brutal 50-50 survival odds—borders on extreme. She downright cares too much. But how can you not?
How do you not pray with every family member? Show up for a special patient birthday party hours away? And, at times, attend painful funerals. The ones where grandmothers come up to you, sobbing, thanking you and begging you not to forget their grandchild.
Stapleton doesn’t have to be in this chair in Sarasota today. Her regular duties are exhausting and stressful enough. Other hospital staff usually handles insurance approvals.
But she has to fight. Avery needs a special approval in order to try an experimental treatment on her nasty tumor in hopes it will help her where other treatments have failed.
Stapleton takes a deep breath and prepares to plead for Avery.
Celebrating a first birthday in the hospital isn’t ideal, but the Johns Hopkins All Children’s staff helps “Sea Bass” and his family have a special day.
As the vaccine comes to the frontline workers, a world of possibilities begins to open up.
For Gavin, the hospital isn’t all about challenges and adversity. It’s about giving joy to others.
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